5 Ways to Return to Mindfulness with Your Children

Young Artists

Being mindful with your children is not about being perfect. It is about recommitting to sharing moments with them time and time again – even when you’ve gone way off of your path and have to travel a long road back to be present again. If you’ve “lost your mind” for a moment, an hour or even a year or ten years – you always have the opportunity to start again. Here are a few ways that I have found myself again when need be.

  1. Stop whatever you are doing and connect with your breath. Hold your children in your arms if you must and take a deep, stilling breath. And then another. Stay here for a while enjoying a peace that is sure to come over you. Nothing is more important than your sense of calm. Nothing is more important than the sense of peace and safety you will share with your children in this moment. Not dinner. Not the laundry. Not bedtime. In breathing we are more likely to experience compassion for ourselves and for others so that we may choose loving and kind action. And in breathing we may observe our thoughts and experience them as an onlooker, with less judgment, instead of being continually in their grip. Notice your children modeling your breathing.
  1. Look your children in the eyes and affirm that you had been gone for a while but that you are back now. Children and even babies know so much more than we give them credit for. Better not to brush over your mindlessness. Acknowledge it. Let your child know that we all lose track of our thoughts at times and this impacts our actions but that we always have an opportunity to start again. They will understand and they will follow your lead in learning forgiveness and letting go and moving on.
  1. Find an activity to do with your children that uses your hands and immerse yourself into the moment with them in this tactile way. Pull weeds in the garden. Kneed dough. Finger paint. Braid yarn. Be conscious of your breath as you play. Listen more than you speak. Allow the activity to unfold naturally. Loosen your grip.
  1. Cancel something. Too many plans, a too-full schedule makes a person ripe for losing presence. Recognize the importance of quiet, peaceful, uneventful time at home and make it a priority. Genuine friends and family will understand. You may inspire them to do so as well.
  1. Quiet your mind again at the end of the day in the absence of your children. Give thanks for them as individuals. Reflect on each of their unique, positive qualities. Imagine them feeling happy and content. Imagine them thriving. Bless them each and know that they have been placed in your care perfectly.

12 thoughts on “5 Ways to Return to Mindfulness with Your Children

  1. Pingback: Parent Affirmation Monday- Breathing- 8/6/2012 « help4yourfamily

    1. meghannathanson Post author

      I’m so happy that you found this post useful! I felt that it would be a good fit for Positive Parenting Connection. There are a few other posts that may be helpful for the parents in your network:

      A Mother’s Meditation (http://meghannathanson.com/a-mothers-meditation-2/)
      Accessing The Moment with your Children Through Your Senses (http://meghannathanson.com/2012/06/29/accessing-the-moment-with-your-children-through-your-senses/)
      5 Benefits of Mindfulness for Mothers (http://meghannathanson.com/2012/08/01/5-benefits-of-mindfulness-for-mothers/)
      5 Powerful Ways to Connect More Deeply with Your Children (http://meghannathanson.com/2012/07/12/5-powerful-ways-to-connect-more-deeply-with-your-children/)

      Thank you again for sharing my words.

      All my best,

      Meghan

      Reply
  2. meghannathanson Post author

    I would love that. Is there a particular topic you would like for me to explore or a post of mine that you think might be a good fit for your site? I would also be happy to post something of yours if you like.

    Reply
    1. meghannathanson Post author

      Kristin — I’m sorry for the long delay in responding! Thank you so much for your feedback. “Returning” to Mindfulness is something I do a lot of with 1 and 3 year old children! Wishing you all the best, Meghan

      Reply
  3. Kirstie

    I just found you via Core Parenting and would like to say a big thank you from me too! With my husband away for work a lot at the moment (I am in Australia, he is in Detroit) I am losing my midfulness a lot more than I would like. And at a time like this (everyone is missing Daddy) it is especially important! It’s funny, I think I have done a few of these things myself without thinking. I might be on the right track and just need to reMIND myself :>

    Reply
    1. meghannathanson Post author

      Dear Kirstie — I’m sorry for the long delay in responding to your kind feedback. It can be so much harder to manage our little ones when we are alone to do so. I am hoping that this message finds you well and that you are continuing to re MIND yourself (love that) when you need to. Also, be easy with yourself too. I’m sure you are doing your very best and our children can be very forgiving and loving creatures, showing us the way, when we need them to. All my best, Meghan

      Reply
  4. Rachel Macy Stafford

    Thank you!!! I celebrate this message whole-heartedly! I love the 5 simple, yet powerful, ways you have illustrated to meaningfully connect with our children. It is so true–it is not about perfection and it doesn’t take hours and hours–connection can be found in loving, intentional gestures (even brief ones). I look forward to exploring your site. Thank you for the work you do!

    Rachel
    http://www.handsfreemama.com

    Reply
  5. Roxanne

    These 5 reminders are what made me follow your blog… Especially the idea of putting everything aside just to breathe and look my boys in the eyes:) blessings to you meghan

    Reply

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